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J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr 13;282(15):10894-900. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

The factor H variant associated with age-related macular degeneration (His-384) and the non-disease-associated form bind differentially to C-reactive protein, fibromodulin, DNA, and necrotic cells.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University Hospital Malmö, Lund University, S-205 02 Malmo, Sweden.


Recently, a polymorphism in the complement regulator factor H (FH) gene has been associated with age-related macular degeneration. When histidine instead of tyrosine is present at position 384 in the seventh complement control protein (CCP) domain of FH, the risk for age-related macular degeneration is increased. It was recently shown that these allotypic variants of FH, in the context of a recombinant construct corresponding to CCPs 6-8, recognize polyanionic structures differently, which may lead to altered regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. We show now that His-384, corresponding to the risk allele, binds C-reactive protein (CRP) poorly compared with the Tyr-384 form. We also found that C1q and phosphorylcholine do not compete with FH for binding to C-reactive protein. The interaction with extracellular matrix protein fibromodulin, which we now show to be mediated, at least in part, by CCP6-8 of FH, occurs via the polypeptide of fibromodulin and not through its glycosaminoglycan modifications. The Tyr-384 variant of FH bound fibromodulin better than the His-384 form. Furthermore, we find that CCP6-8 is able to interact with DNA and necrotic cells, but in contrast the His-384 allotype binds these ligands more strongly than the Tyr-384 variant. The variations in binding affinity of the two alleles indicate that complement activation and local inflammation in response to different targets will differ between His/His and Tyr/Tyr homozygotes.

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